Kremlin blames anti-Russian rhetoric in Germany on campaign intrigue
The Kremlin is “perfectly aware” that anti-Russian rhetoric in Germany has been ratcheting up “in the past weeks and even months,” presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists prior to Putin’s talks with Merkel on Thursday.With elections in Germany right around the corner, some politicians see an opportunity to exploit German-Russian relations for their own political interests.Due to this volatile political atmosphere, Peskov noted that “demands have been addressed to Mrs. Merkel by Bundestag members and others on asking (Russian President Vladimir) Putin some questions concerning human rights and democracy."If questions regarding human rights are brought up, the president will provide “ample explanations” on any issue that may need to be clarified, Peskov said. Meanwhile, the press secretary added that the Russian leader, in turn, “will pose his own questions.""Pre-election battles" are gradually unfolding in Germany, he said.While not explicitly mentioning the volatile US presidential race, which saw the Barack Obama’s Republican challenger call Russia “America’s number one geopolitical foe,” Peskov lamented that “just as in other countries, some individuals [in Germany] are likely to try to exploit relations with Germany's closest partners to gain extra points.”We do not like to see Russian-German relations used in such a way, the Kremlin spokesman said."There are hotheads everywhere, and they often use distorted information or deliberately distort it in making their judgments,” Peskov stressed. “Some people are obsessed with stereotypes, and it is hard and not really helpful to communicate with them."Russia has always been prepared for dialogue and has always been willing to patiently explain the real state of affairs, he continued.Given the severe economic shock-waves now rocking the Euro-zone, which have taken the form of civil unrest, Peskov hinted at a crash when he said that Russian-German relations have "a very good airbag" in the form of trade turnover amounting to $87 billion.Due to this firm foundation, Russia and Germany will continue to have the “political will for pursuing positive trends in bilateral relations,” he said.To underscore these solid bilateral relations, Peskov reminded that Putin and Merkel will discuss the European Union's Third Energy Package within the framework of the St. Petersburg dialogue, scheduled to take place on Friday. The two leaders will also exchange opinions on the international agenda, including Syria and mounting tensions in the Middle East, Peskov said.